The kiss of death for me was when I started working at Fazoli’s at age 17. I was a healthy weight before and grew up with healthy habits. But being around (high carb) food all the time was so tempting. I had always loved pasta and when it was free, it was hard to say no. I put on 15-20 pounds in two years’ time. I went from healthy looking to chubby and thus began a 12-year struggle to get my weight under control.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was self-conscious, mainly due to peoples’ comments. I was asked when I was due more times than I would have liked. I also avoided physical activity (besides yoga) because I was avoid people would see me struggle. So it affected my physical fitness.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My mother had offered to help me with my weight, but as I tell people I wasn’t ready. I needed to do it on my terms. I think the turning point was working with a life coach. She encouraged me to set and achieve goals. She had me take a before photo as a way to document progress. I’m so glad I did because that has been my point of reference now for 3 years!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I think the first step was getting out of my comfort zone. I enrolled in a kickboxing class and met some amazing ladies whom I formed bonds with. I stuck with it and saw results. Then a few months later I started a weight-loss program called Metabolic Research Center diet. It’s basically high protein, “good” carb supplemented with protein drinks. I lost 30 on that. It was a good foundation of healthier habits which I still embrace today. I continued with a regular exercise routine, which helped to tighten and tone.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I saw results almost immediately. I was so bloated and unhealthy that it was impossible not to improve!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Peoples’ ignorance about weight loss, tight budget, being impatient (wanting it all right away), my father’s illness and eventual death. Also, I am a pescetarian, so it can be hard to find a variety of non-meat protein sources.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Yes! My father was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014 and he passed away in Sept. 2015. There was a lot of ups and downs over those 15 months. I was able to maintain a consistent workout schedule, but my diet suffered. My dad was always supportive of my weight loss and fitness goals, so I knew I had to keep going to honor him. I was especially motivated after he died to get back on track. There is a link between diabetes and lymphoma, so I was especially motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle to decrease my risk of cancer.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? See above.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took me a year to lose the first 30 and 2 years to lose the last 20.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Absolutely! I went from a size 10 to a 4. I also am about to run my first 5k in a few weeks. I no longer get winded by simple things like climbing stairs. And no one asks if I’m pregnant anymore!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?Definitely more protein, lots of water and very little alcohol. I try to plan meals around the protein. Carbs are the supporting act. It used to be the other way around.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I went from being a coach potato to training for my first 5k in 3 years’ time. I used to do yoga a few times a week and say I “worked out,” but in reality I was barely breaking a sweat. It was pathetic.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Pay attention to body composition. Some people lose more inches than pounds. Every body is different. The scale is not the end-all-be-all!
- Weight lifting is especially important for women. Fitness and muscular is the new skinny!
- Protein is power. It should be the centerpiece of every meal.
- Water is your best friend. If you get bored, try to add some no calorie flavor to it.
- Don’t be upset or discouraged if people don’t notice or comment on your results. People can be weird about weight loss. It’s a touchy subject. You just have to do it for yourself.